MOUNT CRAWFORD PINE FOREST – WE WE FIND MUSHROOMS
I was inspired top produce this pine forest painting after spending many delightful hours in the pine forest at Mount Crawford in South Australia foraging for mushrooms.
MOUNT CRAWFORD FOREST RESERVE was first purchased for forestry at Mount Crawford in 1909.
Plantings commenced in 1914 and continued to expand until the 1960s.
Many of the original plantations have since been clear felled and replanted. Today, the Mount Crawford Forest Reserve covers an area of 12,367 hectares and is modelled as a community forest.
It is managed for sustainable commercial forestry. Mt. Crawford Forest Reserve also contains 4,440 hectares of native vegetation protected for conservation.
These Native Forest Reserves and conservation zones are of high conservation value, containing a rich variety of trees, shrubs and ground cover species that provide significant habitat for native birds, reptiles and mammals, and provide opportunities for activities such as nature study, bird watching and bush walking.
The mushrooms I collect are SAFFRON MILK CAPS and SLIPPERY JACKS
The SAFFRON MILK CAP (Lactarius deliciosus) is native to the southern Pyrenees where it grows under Mediterranean pines, as well as in Portugal, Bulgaria, Spain, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, France . It has been introduced to Chile, Australia and New Zealand, where it grows in Pinus radiata plantations.
Lactarius deliciosus grows under conifers on acidic soils and forms a mycorrhizal relationship with its host tree.
Many people of Italian, Polish, Ukrainian and other eastern European ancestry in Australia travel to collect these mushrooms after autumn rainfall around Easter time.
High consumption of Lactarius deliciosus could cause urine discoloration, namely coloring it orange/red.
The SLIPPERY JACK MUSHROOM is a common fungus native to Eurasia, from the British Isles to Korea It has also been widely introduced elsewhere by way of pine plantations around the globe, including Australia.
Commonly referred to as slippery jack, its names refer to the brown cap, which is characteristically slimy in wet conditions.
It is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, stews or fried dishes. The slime coating, however, may cause indigestion if not removed before eating.
The fungus forms symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with living trees by enveloping the tree’s underground roots with sheaths of fungal tissue.
It produces spore-bearing fruit bodies, often in large numbers, above ground in summer and autumn.
The fungus is not found in adjacent areas of native vegetation.
Pinus radiata plantations in Australia have become tourist attractions as people flock to them in autumn to pick slippery jacks and saffron milk-caps in particular has attracted large numbers of Polish foragers.